Luxury boutique retailer Browns is relaunching its emerging talent spotlight, ‘Browns Focus,’ with Series One featuring Conner Ives, Maximilian, Mariah Esa, Commission, Bianca Saunders, Labrum, Lueder, Saul Nash and Tsau.
The initiative aims to celebrate not only new talent but also to highlight Browns’ legacy at nurturing innovative designers and creatives and will include exclusive capsule collections from the nine up-and-coming talents.
Alongside the womenswear and menswear capsules, highlighted with installations at Browns Brook Street and Browns East, each designer has also worked with Browns to create a series of digital content, which champions both their products and personal stories.
Speaking on the project, Browns womenswear and menswear buying director, Ida Petersson, said in a statement: “Emerging talent is at the heart and soul of everything we do at Browns and by reintroducing Browns Focus as a platform for collaboration, we aim to showcase not only the designers but also their communities. I’m immensely excited about this line up, each designer brings something completely unique to the table and are true stars both today and for tomorrow.”
Browns Focus was first launched in 1997 as an incubator for new talent globally and championed designers such as Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha and Hussein Chalayan. It became known for its curated fashion edit and collective spotlighting of talent from various design disciplines, as well as its memorable parties.
Browns spotlights emerging fashion talent with exclusive capsule collections
Each year Browns will select a new group of emerging talent to take part in its Browns Focus series, with 2021 featuring womenswear designers Commission, Conner Ives, Maximilian, and Mariah Esa alongside menswear designers Bianca Saunders, Labrum, Lueder, Saul Nash and Tsau.
For her capsule collection, Bianca Saunders has explored the interconnection of her own history and own surroundings to create her pieces for Browns, taking inspiration from a trip her mum took to Jamaica in the 70s.
Commenting on her collection, Saunders said: “The future of fashion is for it to become a more diverse place. I think it’s important for diverse stories to be told by authentic makers. That’s what really reflected in the range of designers that Browns have selected.”
Commission founders Jin Kay, Dylan Cao, and Huy Luong have created a capsule of tailoring taking inspiration from their memories of Asian women’s styles of the 80s and 90s, while Labrum designer Foday Dumbuya explores the conversation of ‘Work to Live and Live to Work’ for Browns, and Lueder designer Marie Lueder has focused on eco-credentials to shape her signature silhouettes.
Bianca Saunders, Saul Nash and Conner Ives launch exclusive capsule collections with Browns
Conner Ives, who is no stranger to Browns, having designed a collection exclusively for the retailer whilst studying at Central St Martins back in 2018, has launched a second exclusive for the retailer that is an extension of his BA studies. Developed entirely from upcycled fabrics, this season, he’s included upcycled silk dresses constructed from silk scarves, as well as upcycling fleece blankets into jackets and coats.
Another sustainable capsule is from Mariah Esa, who has built her collection for Browns entirely from recycled garment labels, making every piece one of a kind and unique.
While Maximilian has taken inspiration from his heritage and childhood memories from Trinidad to create a collection of tailoring inspired by 19th-century paintings following the passing of the 1834 Emancipation of Slavery Act, and Saul Nash continues to innovate with a collection exploring activewear and luxury.
The final capsule collection is from Bevan Agyemang of Tsau, who looked to a previous trip to Africa to create his pieces, having spent seven nights in the desert which connected him to an ancestral nomadic lifestyle across the sudanic belt of Africa within The Sahel.
Commenting on the project, Agyemang, said: “Browns have allowed me to connect to a rhythm with an open ended freedom to create. Being connected to a project which celebrates designers at the roots of the community has allowed me to extend my thoughts beyond my own being.”
Browns Focus will be available from May 6 both in-store at Browns Brook Street and Browns East and online at brownsfashion.com.